Opening a Commercial Kitchen for Rent

Our blog tends to focus on those seeking to rent a commercial kitchen, but here’s a switch:  what if you want to open your own commercial kitchen for rent?

In researching this topic, I found very little clear-cut information. No one has broken this down into, “10 Easy Steps to Opening a Rental Kitchen.”  Using Los Angeles as a test market, I found bits and pieces of information on the County’s environmental health website, but nothing comprehensive. I also found a number of articles that addressed various aspects of the process. Here are a few things to think about if you’re considering this endeavor:

 Licenses and Identification: This is something you can do while you’re working out all the trickier details. Your rental kitchen business will need a business license from the city where you plan to operate and most likely a DBA/ Fictitious Business Name registration from the county. Consult your accountant about tax issues and whether your business needs a federal tax ID number.

Finding a facility: This depends on what’s available in your target area. Think about startup expenses versus long-term expenses. You could find an industrial space and install a new commercial kitchen—the advantage here is that rent in industrial spaces tends to be cheap—but you’ll  have to pay for all of your systems and equipment.  Or you could find an established commercial kitchen, like a vacant restaurant space, and retrofit it as a rental kitchen—the advantage to this plan is that some of the very expensive systems and equipment may already be in place.  By the way: the kitchen in your home cannot be rented out as a commercial kitchen, unless you have a separate kitchen available–one that you don’t use for personal cooking–that you can outfit to meet commercial standards. And even then, zoning laws in your city may permit a commercial operation from your home.

Permits and codes:  Here’s where it gets tricky. Commercial food operations are regulated much more stringently than other businesses. You’ll have building codes, health department codes and fire codes to comply with.  Pay a visit to your city office and tell them what you’re trying to do BEFORE you begin so that you can collect information from all the agencies involved. You’ll have to pass inspections before you can open for business, so it’s critical that you know what’s required before you begin setting up your kitchen.

Equipment and systems for your kitchen: when you plan to outfit your kitchen, consider what is required by commercial codes as well as industry standards and your competition. Some of the standard items include:

  • Ventilation–hoods , fans, etc.
  • Fire safety–sprinklers, extinguishers, evacuation plan
  • Sanitation- dishwashers, waste and grease containment and disposal
  • Food storage: freezer, refrigerated and dry storage
  • Cooking equipment–stoves, ovens, smaller appliances
  • Food prep stations and equipment, like commercial mixers
  • Small equipment, like pots, pans, bowls and cooking tools
  • First aid supplies

Facility/ amenities: what will your clients need while they work? Restrooms and parking requirements will be dictated by your city’s building/planning codes, but consider internet access, seating areas, presentation areas—none of these are mandatory, but a could help differentiate your kitchen as a comfortable or value-added choice.

Administrative concerns: Do you need an office?  How will you coordinate schedules? How will you bill and collect rent? How will you market your kitchen? Where will you store paperwork? Depending on how you conduct your business, you may need additional space or supplies to address administrative concerns.

When your kitchen is ready for business, remember that CookItHere.com can help you find clients and help potential clients find you.

Comments

  1. Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted to write
    a little comment to support you.

  2. I’m so excited and relieved that I finally found a great space for my bakery! Now that I can cross that off the checklist, it’s time to do some research to find a few bakery display cases. My main focus is the price, and style of these cases. I want to display my delicious treats in a professional manner. These tips can definitely help make my business successful, thanks for the insight!

  3. The commercial kitchen equipments are paramount in all the commecial applications as it helps in preparing the food with much ease. The food, cooked with the help of these equipments are also of high importance from the nutrional point of view.

  4. Is it possible, please, to get our commercial kitchen removed from your site? The Ranch Winery does NOT have a kitchen for rent. Please call me directly if you have any questions.

    Thank you.
    ~Robin
    707-286-2690

  5. Thank you Robin for letting us know. We have removed the kitchen from our listings. Thanks for helping us to keep our listings up to date. We try to validate all of the listings that we have but unfortunately we can not go back and check on all of them.

    Thank you!

  6. Chef Sherry K says:

    I have recently been asked to manage a commercial kitchen for rent in exchange for using the kitchen for my food business. I have never done this before and I am looking for software to use for scheduling producers and calculating product price and nutritional information. The kitchen hasn’t opened yet, we are still finishing up construction.

    • Hi Sherry, I will send you a private message in a few minutes with my phone number and we can talk on the phone and see how we can help you out with this.

    • Chef Sherry K,
      Now I’m in your shoes, I have never done this before.
      Please any advise and information will be a big help. How we can communicate!?
      Thank you.

    • Sandra Castles says:

      I would like info on this also. I have a commercial kitchen and have a baker that wants to rent it out. We just don’t know how to go about making this fair.

  7. Thanks for this post.It will be useful for users.We provide complete Commercial Kitchen Equipments Manufacturers solutions .

  8. This is great information. I’m very interested in doing this. But, in addition, I’d like to have professional people come in and teach different cooking techniques, healthy cooking/eating, how to manage time to prepare healthy meals.

    I’m also thinking I’d like to partner with insurance companies in some way to help lower the cost of life insurance to their clients by educating on healthy lifestyles.

    Any ideas on that?

  9. Stephanie Watson says:

    I am thinking of starting a commercial kitchen in my area. I personally need one, but the closest two are an hour or more away from our city of about 250 to 350K including the surrounding area. I am curious how much a commercial kitchen can make in revenue and profit. Is it profitable? Since there are so few, I am really curious about how profitable it is. Thank you.

    • Mike Higgie says:

      Hi Stephanie! I am just looking into researching the same. I see that you posted your comment nearly a year and a half ago with no replies. I was interested to know if you’d opened one by now or at least got any additional information on how lucrative they might be. Thanks!

      • Jenna Smith says:

        Mike – I’m looking into this same thing in my area. Any luck?
        Thanks!

        • Hi! I’m working on the same thing and wanted to see if you ever received a response to these questions and/or moved forward with opening a kitchen?

      • Hi! I’m working on the same thing and wanted to see if you ever received a response to these questions and/or moved forward with opening a kitchen?

    • Hi! I’m working on the same thing and wanted to see if you ever received a response to these questions and/or moved forward with opening a kitchen?

  10. Hi

    I have a state of the art commercial kitchen and and ready togive it on rent. my email address is pshortri@gmail.com

    • Hi Pranjal, I’m thinking of opening a commercial kitchen and wanted to see how your business experience has been. Would you be open to chatting about it? I’m in NC.

  11. Brian Williams says:

    I am in the process of opening a kitchen incubator and would like all the helpful information anyone has to offer?

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